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‘We settled for Finidi because of finance,’ – Member NFF Technical Committee, Ikpeba

‘We settled for Finidi because of finance,’ – Member NFF Technical Committee, Ikpeba

A member of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) Technical Committee, Victor Ikpeba, said Finidi George was appointed as Super Eagles coach because of financial constraints.

Finidi was announced as the Super Eagles Head Coach by the NFF of Monday after leading the team in their two friendly games against Ghana and Mali in Morocco last month in acting capacity.

The former Nigeria winger was an assistant to former coach, Jose Peseiro, who led the team to a second-place finish at the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations in Ivory Coast earlier in the year.

Speaking Super Sports programme, Monday Night Football, Ikpeba, said the technical committee which he was a member of had initially wanted a foreign coach to take over the national team, but eventually went for the Enyimba FC coach.

He said, “Firstly, I want to congratulate Finidi George on his appointment as the Super Eagles coach. However, it was a difficult task because we (technical committee) initially wanted a foreign manager.

“However, we settled for Finidi because of the finance. It’s not like we don’t have confidence in our own coaches back home. We thought there should be continuity in the way Peseiro took the team to the final of the 2023 AFCON. So, eventually, we were guided by the NFF President to look inward.

“It’s not that we can’t afford a foreign manager, but Nigerians back home want a Nigerian coach, and that is what we have now.”

According to the NFF, Finidi’s immediate task will be to guide the Super Eagles to victory in two 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifying matches against South Africa and Benin Republic in Uyo and Abidjan respectively, on June 3 and 10.

The matches are must-win encounters, with the Super Eagles lagging behind in third place in Group C of the African campaign behind Rwanda and South Africa.

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